The Transkei Animal Welfare Initiative (TAWI)

The Transkei Animal Welfare Initiative (TAWI) is a grassroots NPO providing basic companion animal health care services in 16 rural communities in the Eastern Cape’s former Transkei. TAWI is not a shelter and rarely rehomes animals. Instead, TAWI works in an outreach capacity, proactively improving the health and well-being of animals in remote rural communities where there are no veterinary services for 100s of kilometers.

TAWI’s core focus is educating owners, especially younger generations, in how to care for, nourish, handle, and build loving bonds with their animals. Funds permitting, TAWI holds regular sterilisation drives, sterilising at least 600 Dogs and Cats annually. All this with just two local Animal Welfare Assistants (AWAs) trained by TAWI, two full-time volunteers, the generosity of vets who donate their time and the support of animal lovers.

TAWI operates from Bush Camp, a little spot on a hill about eight kilometers from Port St Johns, Eastern Cape. Our AWAs work under the state vet’s guidance, visiting homesteads by quad bike, and often on foot, to treat animals for ticks and fleas, mange and infections, to treat injuries, to administer rabies vaccinations and more.

One of the biggest challenges is that these services are provided in the poorest, most marginalised and remote areas in South Africa. As a consequence, fundraising locally is extremely difficult. And that’s where you can help!

If you’d like to get involved, there are so many ways:

  • Donate money (of course!) – One-off donations are great; monthly donations (however large or small) make planning ahead so much easier.
  • Collect and donate – Second-hand clothes and items are sold to help fund running costs. If you’re a painter or writer, perhaps you could donate a signed piece of your work to be auctioned.
  • Tell your vet about TAWI – There are no veterinary practices for over 100km and medications are the biggest expense. Ask your vet for out-of-date or short-dated medications to donate. Get in touch with us and we’ll send you a poster to ask your vet to display in their reception.
  • In your professional capacity – Whether the veterinary world, advertising, print, clothing, building, mechanics, pharmaceuticals, animal behaviour, education, university of life… your skills and contacts can help.
  • Share, share, share! – Only through awareness is TAWI able to reach more animals.  
  • Volunteer – If you’re in the Transkei, let us know and come help out.
  • Hold a fundraiser – Bake sale, auction, garage sale. TAWI can provide logos and photos for any campaigns. For example, a schoolgirl sold pencil cases to her peers for exams and raised R1,000!
  • Run a marathon or throw yourself from a plane to raise sponsorship for TAWI.
  • Bowls, collapsible dog crates and blanket are much needed. Because animals here are free-roaming, we are unable to accept donations of collars or leashes as they are hazardous to dogs in the bush.
  • Watch ‘Dogs of the Transkei (full length)’ on YouTube to find out why Transkei Dogs are so special. (TAWI was called PSJ in the beginning when the film was made.)  

Donate to TAWI:

Transkei Animal Welfare Initiative – Standard Bank: 061047562 – Branch Code: 052621 – SWIFT Code (for international): SBZAZAJJ – Ref: Your telephone number or email address.

SMS TAWI and Your Name to 41006 to donate R25 today!

More Information:

Please visit our website at and find us on Facebook ‘TAWI (Transkei Animal Welfare Initiative)’.

Dogs of the Transkei short film:

Contact: Tel: 078 670 4200 / email: